Billie Georgia Conference—October 19-20, 2018
speaker — Ken Myers
Author of All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes and the host and producer of Mars Hill Audio Journal
“The Risks of Repudiating Reality:
Timely Lessons from C. S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man”
Lecture 1–The Clean Sea Breeze of the Centuries: Lewis and the Discernment of Cultural Disorder
Although The Abolition of Man presents Lewis’s most focused critique of modern thought, all of his works of apologetics (as well as his fiction and many of his essays) are fueled by a deep awareness of how modern assumptions about life and meaning (mediated through our cultural experience) get in the way of faith and faithfulness. In this lecture, Ken Myers will examine some of the prominent cultural themes present in many Lewis’s writings and argue that his work reminds us that we cannot be fully modern and fully Christian.
Lecture 2–On Lecturing in Wartime: The Abolition of Man in Context
The subtitle to C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength — the third volume of his “space trilogy” — is “A Modern Fairy-Tale for Grown-Ups.” In the Preface to the book (written on Christmas Eve, 1943, the same year in which he gave the lectures that comprise The Abolition of Man), Lewis says that his fairy-tale is “a ‘tall story’ about devilry, though it has behind it a serious point which I have tried to make in my Abolition of Man.” In this talk, Ken Myers will summarize the conditions — historical and philosophical — that gave rise to Lewis’s sober warnings in both books.
Lecture 3—“The Magician’s Bargain”: Lewis on the Spirit of Modern Technology
In The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis asserts that the spirit of modern technology (which he calls “applied science”) is essentially the same as the spirit of Renaissance magic. He acknowledges that many people are unaware that “there was very little magic in the Middle Ages: the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are the high noon of magic.” In this lecture, Ken Myers will discuss why understanding the intertwined history of magic and science is essential in grasping the spirit of the modern age.